On Friday 15 May 2015, at 5pm, a solo exhibition by the Venezuelan artist Rodolfo Villaplana (Valencia, 1975) will open at the MAC Maja Arte Contemporanea gallery in Rome (via di Monserrato 30).
13 years after his Roman debut at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and following the success of his 2014 solo exhibition in London ("The Naked and the Nude") and his participation at the 2013 Young Masters Prize, also in London, Villaplana is now back in Rome, to present eleven paintings of various formats from his new cycle of works entitled Furore (fury).
Since his beginnings, the Venezuelan painter has focused his attention on the human figure and on the psychological character of his subjects. “I try to behave the same way as an actor does, and this means struggling with a character he needs to ‘incarnate’. I suspend the self to allow others to speak through me, and the canvas is the point where these two impossibilities meet”.
In these new works (seven self-portraits, two still lives, a female portrait, and a hunting scene), the artist’s eye turns toward that inner self no longer “suspended” but fully interpreted, to unveil its intrinsic nature unapologetically, with no attempt to please. He digs into his soul and renders it, humbly displayed, to the viewer. The paintings thus become a confession, making Furore his most intimate, expressive and personal work.
In her critical essay on the exhibition, Limor Gootlieb writes: “By revealing his own truth, Villaplana yet again achieves to make his work not only authentic and evermore relatable, but he further draws our gaze in closer and deeper, communicating complex emotions of solitude, broken hearts, death and transformation. Villaplana paints from his soul and is taking us on his very own personal journey, and potentially ours, in that he brings up deeply rooted issues concerning the Self, our Self.” There is a feeling of solitude in his paintings, a courageous solitude, which he embraces with no fear of facing his Self, his, our individuality.
Villaplana’s “furore” goes beyond rage; it is a mental excitement, a creative mood, a poetic flair which has in his craft a seductive intelligence. It is pain and at the same time light and freedom.
We all carry within us places of exile, our crimes, our ravages. Our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to transform them in ourselves and others. Albert Camus
Born in Valencia in Venezuela in 1975, Villaplana attended the "Escuela de Artes Plásticas Arturo Michelena" in his native city, the "Instituto de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón" in Caracas, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia, Spain.
In 2002 he moved to Rome where in the same year he took part in the collective exhibition "Ci faremo sentire" held at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and sponsored by Rome City Council.
His first personal exhibition was in 2003 where he presented his series entitled "Beata Ludovica Albertoni" in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Rome).
Other solos and collectives followed in public and private venues in Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Paris, London and Caracas.
After stays in Berlin, Barcelona and Paris, in 2011 he moved to London, where he obtained an MA in Fine Art from the "Chelsea College of Art and Design".
In September of that year he took part in the college's art degree show which featured three large canvases – two of which were acquired for inclusion in a prestigious London collection – and the following month he participated in the Young Masters Prize (Sphinx Fine Art, London).
In 2014 he showed his work at the London Art Fair and PINTA International Art Fair.
His most recent solo exhibitions were held in Venice ("ANARCHIVOLTO", Torre Massimiliana, Venezia, June to September 2014) and London ("The Naked and the Nude", Twentieth Century Theatre, October 2014).
In 2015 he was among the artists accepted for "ArtVenice Biennale 3".
He lives between London and Montepulciano.